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I have a 2013 Chrysler 200 and I'm getting 2 12s and either a 2500 watt amp or a 3500 watt amp tomorrow, and I'm just curious as to if my car can handle it for the short time they'll be in there, as I'm getting a new car soon.

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If the stereo is pulling too much power it will put an additional strain on the battery and the alternator, but it shouldn't break anything else. The first night you have the system, turn on the headlights and turn the fans on high and crank up the bass. If your lights dim with the beats, then your alternator can't handle the load. You could only turn up the stereo when the headlights are off or when you're not using the A/C, etc, to try and compensate for that. You may also be able to get a high-output alternator installed, but that might not be worth the $200-300 if you're not keeping the car for very long.

Something like installing a second battery doesn't help as much as a more powerful alternator, and it's a lot of trouble for a car you're not keeping so I wouldn't really consider that. Cheapest option might be to get a smaller, used amp for this car if the one you really want is too big. Get the nice big amp when you get your new car and worry about the alternator then.

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  • Thanks for the input! Given a couple weeks I'm upgrading to a 2018 Ford Focus ST, which I am excited about, so it won't be in my current car for long. Isn't it possible for me to lower the wattage on the amp though? I'm sure I could still get decent bass until I move it to my new vehicle and turn the wattage back up, right? Feb 1, 2019 at 19:53
  • @LucidiousXIV, Oh a couple of weeks? I was thinking 6 months or so. I wouldn't worry about a few weeks at all. Get the big amp and if you have issues, just keep the volume low for the most part (lower volume, lower power usage). Crank it up for a few songs, but don't run it for hours with the lights dimming. You can even get voltmeters that plug into your cigarette lighter to keep an eye on your charging level (should be14.x volts when the car is running).
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 1, 2019 at 19:56
  • Would you recommend upgrading the alternator on the Focus before I install it? I don't want to do anything to harm my new car lol Feb 1, 2019 at 20:18
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    Only thing you can do is get on some Focus specific message boards and look around or ask. I'm not aware of any specs the manufacture provides that says, our alternator can supply up to an additional X amps of power unless you're talking about a work truck made to be modified. It's not going to harm anything immediately tho. It will shorten battery and/or alternator life if you continue to use it, but you should know pretty quick if you need an upgrade.
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 1, 2019 at 20:29
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there is no realistic reason to use that many amps for two 12 inch subs. 300 watts is reasonable. I had a stereo tested in a competition that was measured at over 130 decibels and that was sending 225 watts to the subs, and 40 to each other speaker. To put it in perspective, there was a guy that had 20 ten inch subs in a car and he had 2500 watts. If your amp is REALLY 2500 watts, do the math. p=i*e where p = watts, e = volts, i = amps. 2500 = i*12 so i = 2500 / 12 = over 200 amps of draw on a car that certainly has a 100 amp alternator or smaller.

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  • Make sure he buys ear plugs or else look forward to hearing aids later in life Feb 1, 2019 at 22:13
  • He might be thinking of peak output instead of real RMS output. I'd just use a capacitor for the big hits. Maybe a big 2uf.
    – David Sain
    Feb 2, 2019 at 6:00
  • A 2uf capacitor is tiny. Even 50-year-old "low powered" amps had power supply caps thousands of times bigger than that.
    – alephzero
    Feb 2, 2019 at 11:46
  • name-brand amps list RMS output, not peak.
    – John Lord
    Feb 7, 2019 at 15:20

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